Thursday, September 28, 2006

Some Things Never Change

Bill passes along a link to an exchange of letters that evidently took place c. 635 A.D. between an Arab Muslim Caliph named Omar Ibn-Kat'tab and an Iranian (Persian) ruler named Yazdgerd III. The first letter is an ultimatum from the Caliph demanding the surrender of the Iranians to Islam. The second is Yazdgerd's wonderful and heroic reply. Here's the ultimatum:

Bism-ellah Ar'rahman Ar'rhim
To the Shah of the Fars

I do not foresee a good future for you and your nation save your acceptance of my terms and your submission to me. There was a time when your country ruled half the world, but see how now your sun has set.

On all fronts your armies have been defeated and your nation is condemned to extinction. I point out to you the path whereby you might escape this fate. Namely, that you begin worshipping the one god, the unique deity, the only god who created all that is.

I bring you his message. Order your nation to cease the false worship of fire and to join us, that they may join the truth.

Worship Allah the creator of the world. Worship Allah and accept Islam as the path of salvation. End now your polytheistic ways and become Muslims that you may accept Allah-u-Akbar as your savior.

This is the only way of securing your own survival and the peace of your Persians. You will do this if you know what is good for you and for your Persians.

Submission is your only option
Allah u Akbar
The Calif of Muslims Omar Ibn-Khat'tab

Read Yazdgerd's response at the link. May the Yazdgerds of the world increase, and may all the Omars follow Yazdgerd's excellent advice.

Open Letter to the Religious Right

Joe Carter pens an Open Letter to the Religious Right. It's mostly good stuff and coming from a political and theological conservative, much of it would be surprising to both liberals and conservatives alike. I don't think he's correct in everything he says, but where I think he's wrong he's not off by much.

He begins his letter with these words:

During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was purportedly asked if God was on his side.

"Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side," said the President, "my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right."

Ironically, though Lincoln is often praised for this remark, it contains three of the most controversial ideas in American politics: that God should be invoked in the political sphere; that God's existence matters, much less that he is always right; and that since He takes sides on certain issues, some people will be divinely justified while others will be in opposition not only to their political opponents but to the very Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.

If you find these ideas absurd and repugnant, you are most likely a secularist. If you find them to be embarrassing truths, then you may be on the religious left. If you find them so obvious that they hardly need stating, then you are probably a member of the so-called "religious right."

I embrace them whole-heartedly, which makes me a certified member of the religious right. Although I've often been uncomfortable with that term, I find it fits me more and more, as if I'm growing into it. So be it.

Read the rest of the letter at the link. It's worth it.

Al Qaeda's Estimate of the Iraq War

Al Jazeera has published a leaked copy of a classified al Qaeda Intelligence Estimate similar to the excerpts from the National Intelligence Estimate printed by the New York Times (Okay, not really. Al Jazeera understands something about loyalty).

The American Thinker has obtained part of the "document" here.

Here's part of it:

Our judgment that the war in Iraq is an unmitigated disaster rests on another logic entirely - one that, praise be to Allah, our allies on the American left fail utterly to grasp. By dragging on for so long, and thus generating so much political controversy, this war has created the opportunity for those among the infidels who truly understand us to find their voice. Today in the American media once-obscure scholars such as Bernard Lewis, James Arlandson, and Andrew Bostom are reaching large and growing audiences with their accurate and deeply insightful analyses of Islam.

And while it is one thing when the moron Bush stumbles onto the truth and calls us "Islamofascists"-it is quite another when the infidel leader Benedict visits a minor university in Germany, and there gives a scholarly speech about the nature of Islam that echoes across the globe and focuses worldwide attention on the central role of violence in our faith.

History teaches that when attacked, the infidel responds slowly - and at first, clumsily. (Consider how many centuries went by before Christianity responded to our conquests in the seventh and eighth centuries with what they are pleased to call the Crusades.) And of all the infidels, none responds more clumsily than the Americans. They are too corrupt - too distracted by their pornography and their shopping - to see clearly or even to think clearly about the threats they face.

But history also teaches that, given enough time, the Americans always come to understand the true nature of their enemy. And history teaches that once they do, they win.

We judge that a great shift is now under way within the Great Satan. While the "elites" in Washington continue to fight each other rather than us, the masses are becoming more resolute in their opposition to our jihad. Our agents report that throughout the Great Satan, in places like Birmingham, Alabama, and Raleigh, North Carolina, and Naperville, Illinois, and Fargo, North Dakota - and even in the outlying districts of New York itself - ordinary, working Americans are starting to wake up to who we truly are and what we mean to do. The people are moving ahead of their corrupt politicians.

For all the mistakes the Americans and their lackeys have made in Iraq - may Allah continue to mislead them - this war has been a disaster because it has triggered the one thing we were most determined to prevent: It has enabled the infidel to understand our true objective - which is, of course, the destruction of Western civilization.

Read the rest at the link.